One of the things I admire most about the way life is lived in France is the celebration of seasonal delights on market days. You can tell what time of year it is by what's on offer. And nowhere is this more evident than Provence. When we visited it was high summer, and I can't think of a season I would rather eat up and savor. Melons, tomatoes, peaches, and squash blossoms. What a feast!
Whether a small village like Moustiers-Sainte-Marie or a bustling city like Aix, the abundance is amazing - jam, chickens, soap, sausages, big pans of paella. And the cheese. Oh the cheese.
Sometimes it seems that almost anyone could cook like Julia Child with the advantage of a French village market on her doorstep. You can't help but be inspired to to dream up all sorts of fabulous dishes while wandering the stalls. From the bounty we took from our market visits, we created my favorite meals of the trip.
Simple, fresh, flavorful, enjoyed with friends and family. The way all the best meals should be. Heather from Lost in Arles wrote a lovely description of how the Provençal markets shape the way she cooks- you can find it here.
Now that I'm home from our travels I'm trying to incorporate this bit of French living more regularly into my life. Even though we are blessed with plenty of farmers markets here in Seattle, they aren't as frequent or as convenient, and you certainly won't find any deals. (I can spend twice as much at a farmers market as I can at Whole Foods, easily). But the food tastes better and since it's a little harder won, I think I appreciate it more. And you can really see the seasons change wandering a market, rather than pushing around a grocery cart.
What about you? Do you make it to the markets much?
Happy Monday! XO